Smoke Detector Market to Hit $600 Million

Expected Growth In The U.S. Smoke Detector Market

Smoke Detector

Between 2016 and 2020 the residential market for smoke detectors will grow, according to a recent Technavio report, and technological trends in the market will shift dramatically.

“The market size for the residential smoke detector market, specifically for the U.S., stands … close to around $400 million,” Sayani Roy, Technavio industry analyst, told Security Systems News. “By 2020, it is expected to hit around $600 million,” she said. Technavio is estimating a roughly 7 percent CAGR for the period, Roy said.

Roy pointed to three key market geographies: Texas, California and Florida. “Texas comprises around 15 percent of the … new demand for smoke detectors, we are not including replacement demand here,” she said. “The rise in residential construction in the state is one of the primary reasons [for this growth].”

California makes up 8.9 percent of the total U.S. market share. “The reason for the growth of smoke detectors in California is … increasing multi-family housing construction projects.”

The market in Florida will grow due to a law that mandates the use of smoke detectors, as well as numerous housing projects in the state. Florida has a 7.7 percent share of the market.

The type of smoke detectors being installed will change over this period, Roy said. The report segments the market into three key detection technologies: ionization, photoelectric and dual sensor.

Ionization-based detectors are most prevalent now, but will drop considerably over this time period, according to Roy. “The market for ionization-type smoke detectors will actually decelerate at a negative CAGR of around 10.85 percent.”

Replacing ionization detectors with either photo-electric or dual-sensor detectors will be a factor in the growth of the market over this period. New construction of residential buildings will increase the market.

Fire-related deaths have been declining mostly due to increased use of smoke detectors, Roy said, and certain detectors are better suited for life safety. “The cause [of] fire deaths is mostly from smoldering fires, which can only be detected by these photoelectric or the dual sensors,” she said.

Another factor in the decline of ionization detectors is their rate of false alarms, which have led consumers to disable their smoke alarms. Disposal of ionization detectors causes an additional problem because they contain radioactive materials, she said.

Increased regulations in the United States will be a major trend in the market, some of which restrict the use of ionization-type detectors, Roy said. “States like Massachusetts, Iowa and Vermont—they have banned the use of ionization smoke detectors in their residential buildings.”

Roy gave another example of government involvement in the market: The city of South Bend, Ind., is considering an initiative to give homeowners two free smoke detectors.

By 2020, photoelectric detectors will be most prevalent, but the dual-sensor market share is also increasing, Roy noted.

The report also divided the market by three power sources for smoke detectors: battery powered, hardwired with a battery backup, and hardwired without a battery backup. In 2016, the battery-powered segment has 60 percent of the market, hardwiring with a battery comprises about 33 percent and hardwiring without a backup battery has the smallest share of around 6 percent.

These market shares will remain mostly the same to 2020, Roy said, with a slight decrease in battery-powered detectors.

Integration of detectors into the smart home will be an opportunity for installers in this market, Roy said, such as integration with home energy management systems.

“Integration with the IoT … is expected to open new avenues for the market in terms of revenue,” she said. This trend is in a very early phase, Roy said, and a lot of activity is expected in the next five years.

Among smoke detector manufacturers, Kidde leads the market with 25 percent of the total market, followed by BRK, Honeywell and Siemens, according to Roy.

Article Provided By: Security System News 

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Hackers Are Tapping Into Mobile Networks’ Backbone, New Research Shows



Hackers have been known to use all manner of remote access tools to break into mobile phones, often by finding vulnerabilities in an operating system like Android or even in SIM cards. It’s more rare to try and tap into the network infrastructure that routes these calls for mobile operators themselves. Yet new research shows that one nefarious kind of network surveillance is happening too, across the world.

A survey of a handful of large mobile operators on each continent showed that hackers have been exploiting a key signalling protocol for routing cellular calls known as SS7, to track the location of certain mobile users and in some cases, listen in on calls.

Across a range of operators, 0.08% of SS7 packets being sent across a network in Africa were deemed suspicious. In Asia the rate was 0.04% and in the Americas it was 0.025%, according to research by Dublin based research firm Adaptive Mobile.

While these are low percentages they relate to the millions of SS7 packets being sent every day.

“That can add up to tens of thousands a day which can mean someone being tracked or some fraud transactions,” says Cathal Mc Daid, head of Adaptive Mobile’s cyber security unit. “These are low-volume, high-impact events.”

Location tracking is the most popular reason for exploiting the SS7 protocol, says Mc Daid. His team recorded 1,140 separate SS7 requests to track 23 unique subscribers over a two-day period, with some subscribers tracked many hundreds of times.

There are a handful of known players in the market for selling SS7 vulnerabilities.

One three-person startup called CleverSig was recently selling access to their “remote SS7 control system” for $14,000 to $16,000 a month. Their price was divulged when emails from the Italian information surveillance company Hacking Team were posted on the web.

Other network surveillance companies with names Circles (based in Bulgaria, according to Adaptive Mobile) and the Rayzone group, also operate within the grey area of selling access to their SS7 exploitation platforms to governments and other surveillance companies like Hacking Team.

The going rate for looking up someone’s physical location through the SS7 network, as advertised on the dark web, was about $150 about two years ago, according to Mc Daid. He expects that price hasn’t changed much since. “A lot of those offers have gone underground.” That is partly due to relatively recent press on SS7.

In late 2014 security researchers were reported by the Washington Post to have initially discovered the security flaws that could let hackers, governments and criminals intercept calls through the global SS7 network. Adaptive Mobile conducted its research through 2015 to show that the exploit wasn’t just theoretical but actually being carried out by hackers.

“The news is yes, we are seeing exploits in every operator in every part of the world,” says Mc Daid – though it should be stressed that his team partnered with just one operator per continent to get a representative sample.

Africa and the Middle East seemed to have to highest rates of exploitation, Mc Daid says, adding that he couldn’t name the operators who took part in the research due to agreements with the carriers. Mobile operators have been “surprised this is actually occurring within their networks,” he adds.

“It’s very serious,” says Mc Daid. “The SS7 networks is the cornerstone of how carrier operators work and tens of billions of dollars have been invested in network architecture around the world. It’s not going to be replaced overnight.”

Article Provided By: Forbes

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Don’t Improve Network Security – Create Secure Networks

Secure Networks

Secure Networks

Secure Networks vs. Network Security

Security Leaders Must Change Their Mindset on How to Think About Policy, Detection and Enforcement 

Security practitioners have a problem. In the face of a seemingly endless barrage of cyberattacks, organizations have been faced with mounting pressure to combat threats by any means possible. In the interest of deepening defenses, too many organizations have taken a “buy it all” approach, hoping that by adding more and more security layers to their network, they will be able to keep up with the malicious threats trying to bring it down.

This has created an unmanageable system of products that all claim to make us more secure, when in reality they have taken “defense and depth” model to an extreme that is counterproductive. Too much time and money is spent keeping a litany of network security devices up to date, while not enough time is spent with an actually secure networks. Instead of creating greater certainty, it’s creating agonizing complexity.

Case in point: At RSA last month, I was bombarded by an interminable amount of new appliances promising to protect my network from any number of highly specific threats. But, if with every new threat we added a new security layer, we wouldn’t be any more secure – instead, we would have endless silos of applications that are disconnected and ultimately inadequate.

The fact is, there needs to be a fundamental change in mindset of the way we view security. We need to reset our thinking and priorities and move the focus away from improving network security and towards creating secure networks. While it’s important to have multiple layers of defense, more emphasis needs to be placed on how companies integrate, update and manage their security.

At their core, secure networks should focus on automation and management. This includes expanding enforcement beyond the firewall to determine what other points in the network can help stop threats. They should focus on how to more effectively integrate threat intelligence from multiple sources and then automate the analysis of that information. Finally, they need to find ways to more centrally manage and adapt policy rules that can be enforced as broadly across a company’s infrastructure as possible.

We need to change our mindset on how we think about policy, detection and enforcement. There are several steps that companies can take to move towards creating secure networks and away from improving network security.

1) Open Standard, Intent-Based Policy Engine: The industry has been talking about universal policy and universal policy engines for decades. Translating policies and zones between different policy engines has grown exceedingly difficult as CISOs and CIOs are now inheriting at least three generations of devices that have little documentation on security coverage in their networks. We need to automate and federate a policy engine that will allow exchange of policies with open standards. The community should embrace open source efforts in cybersecurity information sharing specifications like TAXII™, STIX™, and CybOX™. A great overview of these specifications can be found on the US-CERT government website.

Of the three, STIX™ is the most focused on the exchange of cyber threat information. This also can lead to a change in mindset around cyber threat and bad actor detection.

2) Embrace Ability to Detect Anywhere: We should be able to leverage the latest technology to identify the bad guys faster. First, as mentioned with STIX™, we want to be able to utilize all good intelligence to have real time information capabilities in identifying threats and bad actors. With the ability to have open standards-based threat intelligence exchange, every organization should have information to block known threats. Even with some of the best firewalls and perimeter security policies defined, threats and bad actors have been detected within local area networks. Unfortunately, these threats and hackers are typically found manually and usually reactively after a security incident response team notifies the public in some form. Instead of a scramble to sift through the network, we should be able to utilize the network itself to detect any threats or bad actors and immediately quarantine or stop proliferation within the network.

3) Enforce Everywhere: If you can detect threats anywhere in your network, why not also stop them there? Our industry approach to security has always been to enforce only at the edges of the network. With mobility, BYOD and IoT, the perimeter is now nowhere – or, as another way to look at it, the perimeter is now everywhere. It’s neither economically feasible nor operationally manageable to deploy yet another layer of security at every point of the network. Why not use the network itself? Many CISOs have budgets that range from 10 percent to 25 percent of the company’s overall IT budget. Why only use 25 percent of the budget to try to keep up with and protect the other 75 percent of the network? Why not use 100 percent to protect 100 percent of the network? Utilizing the network is the most cost effective and efficient method operationally for detection and enforcement. The security landscape is changing. We absolutely have to forego thinking about network security the traditional way.

The security industry needs to undergo a fundamental change in mindset that leverages every aspect of the network as a key point of security detection and enforcement. Only with this type of software-defined approach will we be able to attain a truly secure networks.

Article Provided By: Security Week

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Access Control Solutions – How Security Integrators Can Guide Clients

Access Control

Access Control Solutions

Electronic access control has become the security solution of choice for commercial facilities around the world. Its growing popularity has resulted in an unprecedented number of options to enhance security, which can have the unfortunate side effect of making clients feel overwhelmed by the selection process.

As a result, it’s more important than ever for security consultants to function as trusted advisers who can help their clients successfully navigate the difficult process of finding the right products for their specific needs. Your expertise can play a critical role in helping customers understand the many factors that they need to consider, including facility age, credential management platform and protocols, budget and long-term security strategy.

However, it’s important to remember that anyone can sell products, but if you want to build the trust necessary to cultivate long-term clients, your primary goal should always be to provide the best solutions for their needs.

Communication is Key

Communication will play a crucial role throughout this process. You will need to identify the customer’s long-term goals as well as any special considerations or limitations. Some clients may know what they want, and it will be your responsibility to point out any discrepancies between what they want versus what is actually needed.

A security crisis is often the catalyst that prompts clients to install or upgrade their access control system. Many people’s first reaction is to try and solve the problem quickly. However, before rushing into a decision, it is important to get the right people together for a planning meeting to develop a practical solution that aligns with their building, their budget, how the system will be used and by whom.

Another issue that must be considered during planning — and your clients may not have thought of — is the demands access control will place on bandwidth and internal networks, so it makes good business sense to involve the IT department early. Taking a collaborative approach will allow you to confirm that the IT infrastructure is up-to-date and all products will be equipped to work in the future.

“I’ve seen the best success when a company’s security and IT leaders are involved from the beginning. They set the tone for working together and jointly developing a solution,” says Erik Larsen, National Integrator Account Manager at Allegion. “When security understands the IT infrastructure – and, how, for example, the addition of locks or cameras impacts the network – and, on the other side, when IT understands the liability and reputation risks of not having the proper security solution in place, that’s when they can move forward implementing the right solution.”

Start With a Plan

During the planning meeting, it is important to discuss the issues that most impact which solution will be selected, including:

  • The access control system’s anticipated use and its overall intent
  • The necessary policies and procedures for access control
  • How the implementation of access control fits into the company’s overall security plan
  • The barriers and limitations to implementation

During the planning phase, you may find yourself asking questions your client has never considered before. Your guidance can help lead them toward a solution that works for them and one they feel confident using. Here are some examples of what to discuss early on to ensure the most optimal outcome:

  • What are your current lockdown procedures?
  • How long does it take to lock down?
  • Do you practice lockdown?
  • How many users will your system have?
  • Do your users have varying security levels?
  • Do you have a crisis management plan?
  • Who manages your security?
  • How do people move through the building on a daily basis?
  • How do people move through the building after hours and/or on weekends?
  • What are your goals for electronic access control solution?

Because today’s systems frequently extend access control into parking garages, warehouses, storage units and other areas, planning must also take into account the potential needs of the system outside the main building. Expanding the security perimeter can provide even greater security, management and convenience, but it requires careful evaluation and credential planning.

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Nest Builds a Smart Smoke Detector With Fewer False Alarms

Smart Smoke Detector

When smoke alarms aren’t beeping, they often fade into the background of our homes; we rarely check to make sure they’re in working order. So when you remove the batteries to stop the beeping over some extra-crispy cookies, you might forget to replace them and consequently miss an important alert.

The Nest smart smoke detector, from the same creator as the smart thermostat, is a new smart smoke detector and CO detector that actually isn’t annoying. At $129 per unit, the Protect is designed to produce fewer false alarms and avoid that low-battery beep at 2 a.m.; each Nest Protect is connected to your home’s wireless network and to one other through another private network.

Fewer False Alarms

“This is a product that the government mandates that you have to have, that you need to help keep you safe,” Nest Founder and CEO Tony Fadell told Mashable. “Yet everyone has a story about how these things that are supposed to keep you safe are so annoying.”

When Protect notices smoke or CO levels rising, it gives you a verbal “heads up” about the issue. Since each Nest Protect in your home is networked together, that heads-up is specific not only to the type of alert but also to the problematic area.

For instance, if you leave the oven on, each Protect in your home might say, “Heads up, there’s smoke in the kitchen” — an especially useful setting if you’re upstairs and didn’t realize you forgot to turn it off.

You can wave your hand in front of the smart smoke detector to dismiss the beeping — essentially, like pressing snooze on an alarm. As long as the situation doesn’t worsen, then your smoke alarms will never sound.

For severe issues, Protect may opt to bypass the “heads up” warning and simply sound the alarm.

Smarter and Safer

In the dark, the Nest smart smoke detector glows green to let you know it is functioning properly, and built-in motion sensors turn the detectors into a nightlight of sorts. During the day, the motion sensors work alongside the Nest thermostat to optimize its “away” feature.

A mobile app provides low-battery alerts for individual units and sends push notifications for “heads up” and emergency alarm notifications while you’re away from home. In the event of an emergency, the app has one-button access to an emergency number, as well as basic emergency preparedness instructions.

In this case, Nest alarms will not only beep; it will speak aloud, too.

“Studies have shown that children are less likely to wake up to a horn, and are more likely to wake up to a mother’s voice,” Faddell said. Nest recruited voice talent for five different languages that will launch on the smart smoke detector.

“We have a British-English mother, a French-Canadian mother, a Canadian-English mother … We wanted to make sure we went to that level of detail to get it right for the specific region,” he said.

After the Protect goes off, the device will check itself to ensure everything is working properly — removing yet another step for the user. In fact, Protect tests itself every 10 minutes, so you know the device is always in working order.

Ongoing Mission

Smart Smoke Detector

Faddell says the company originally launched two years ago with the whole home — not just thermostats — in mind. Nest products are now available in more than 5,000 retailers, including the recent addition of Target.

“We’re here a lot faster than we thought,” Faddell said. Already a fast-growing business, the Protect has the potential to accelerate that growth even further.

Nest Protect will be available in November at Amazon Best Buy, Home Depot and Apple stores. The smoke detector will be sold in both a wires and battery-powered version and will be priced at $129 per unit.

Article Provided By: Mashable

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